The biggest difference? For the first time, they actually live in the same house, in the same city, in the same state.
Before Giffords was shot, she jetted between her home in Tucson and work in Washington, while Kelly lived and worked in Texas, home of Johnson Space Center.
They had a commuter marriage, which didn't allow them much time together. Now, they are together all the time, living in a ranch-style home they bought last summer.
Another difference? Before Giffords was shot, she had a rocky relationship with Kelly's two teenage daughters from a previous marriage.
"Yes, changed," says Giffords.
"Yes, a lot better," echoes Kelly.
"They've, well, they've also grown up a little bit, too. And, you know, as a family, we've evolved because of ... you know, because of what happened," said Kelly.
"So it's brought us all closer together," said Kelly.
And, as parents, for Giffords and Kelly, thoughts return to her shooter, Loughner.
"So sad. Mentally ill," Giffords added.
Newly-released court documents reveal that Loughner's parents suspected something was wrong - that he heard voices and exhibited other alarming behavior.
"As a parent, you know you can empathize with somebody who went thru that ... where their kid did this horrific thing. At the same time, you know, there were indications of his mental illness. You know, the school knew about it. His parents knew about it. And he didn't have -- didn't seem to have a lot of options for good treatment," said Kelly.
In the past two years, Giffords and Kelly have not heard from Loughner's parents. Would they want to?
"Um, not really," said Giffords.
Giffords suffered yet another tragedy a few months ago.
Her father Spencer -- with whom she had a special bond -- died suddenly. He taught her a lot about humor, strength and responsibility, handing her the keys to his tire business when she was just 26.
Giffords' grit and determination also comes from her mother, Gloria -- a force of nature. She is an artist whose home is in the middle of the desert, miles from civilization.
Off-roading with Gabby
You have to go off-road to get there. There are so many desert rocks that on the way home, Kelly got a flat tire in the pitch black night.
Giffords, the daughter of a tire salesman and expert tire changer in her own right, got out of the car to help.
Giffords bond with mother, who sat by her hospital bed for countless hours and still plays a central role in her long road to recovery, is tighter than ever.
And there may be a sliver of hope for Giffords, now 42, to have a child of her own. When she was shot, she was trying to get pregnant with fertility treatments.
They still have two frozen embryos. But given Giffords injuries, they'd likely have to use a surrogate.
"I don't know," said Giffords, looking over at Kelly for his response.
"We -- you know, we talk about it. We talk about it. We haven't made a decision," said Kelly.